There are hopes that a new sewer system in Cirencester will help alleviate flooding in the town. 

The new foul water system will connect 850 existing properties in Chesterton onto a new and improved sewer network, while adding the future capacity needed for new homes planned as part of The Steadings development.

Thames Water, and its contractor KCD, installed the new Cirencester Sewage Treatment Works (STW), connecting Chesterton to the Cirencester STW at Shorncote. 
Works to extend and upgrade the network commenced last summer and were completed in late 2021. The existing homes were connected to the new strategic foul sewer in December.

How has flooding affected Cirencester recently?

The issue of flooding in the Cotswolds has come to the fore in recent years. 
More than 70 homes in Cirencester and the surrounding area flooded in the winter of 2020/21.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Flooding in CirencesterFlooding in Cirencester

READ MORE: Homes flooded and 76 left without power on Christmas Day

Joe Harris, leader of Cotswold District Council, said: "Upgrades to sewage infrastructure is of course good news however it's appalling that Thames Water continues to pump thousands of tonnes of sewage waste into local rivers.

"The foul water from the Steadings will end up at Shorncote sewage treatment works and I'm extremely concerned about whether or not the site will be able to handle the extra demand of the 2350 new houses.

"Last year Thames Water pumped sewage into the Shorncote ditch 88 times for a total of 1,216 hours, the Shorncote ditch runs into some of the Cotswold Water Park's most biologically diverse lakes. 

"This is a practice that is meant to be used only in exceptional circumstances, yet it is blatant, even to the most casual observer, that it has become a routine practice. It's a scandal and both Thames Water and the Government need to act."

What is the Steadings development? 

The sewer works mark one of the first milestones designed to put in place the infrastructure needed to support the wider Cirencester community as a result of The Steadings. 

Bathurst Development Limited (BDL) is expected to build 2,350 houses, with the marketing of the first phase of new homes for sale due to start this summer.

Peter Clegg, CEO of BDL, said: “Storm water and sewage flooding is a reoccurring issue in Cirencester so we are delighted to be able to play our part in enabling the delivery of this vital local infrastructure and we hope it will make a real difference. 

"The new system will help to alleviate pressure from storms to this area of Cirencester’s homes and businesses while creating the new capacity needed for The Steadings.”

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A Thames Water spokesperson said: “We’re investing £8.5million in a new sewer pipeline between Chesterton and Shorncote to help protect homes and the environment from sewer flooding caused by extreme weather.

"We also have further planned investment at a number of our sewage treatment works sites including Cirencester, Fairford and Ampney St Peter, as well as relining work on the sewer network across the Cotswolds to help prevent the risk of flooding."

“Our aim will always be to try and do the right thing for our rivers and for the communities who love and value them.

"We regard all discharges of untreated sewage as unacceptable and will work with the government, Ofwat and the Environment Agency to accelerate work to stop them being necessary and are determined to be transparent.

"We recently launched our river health commitments which includes a 50% reduction in the total annual duration of spills across London and the Thames Valley by 2030, and within that an 80% reduction in sensitive catchments.

"We have a long way to go – and we certainly can’t do it on our own – but the ambition is clear.”